I’m in the midst of reading Rediscovering Values on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street by Jim Wallis. Wallis, a minister, best-selling author, and sought-after speaker starts with the premise that if we are asking the wrong question it doesn’t matter how good the answer is; we still won’t get the results we want. As we are climbing out of the current “Great Recession,” Wallis suggests that instead of asking “When will this crisis be over?” we should be asking “How will this crisis change us?” He makes a strong case that what got us into this recession is a crisis of values that fosters short-term thinking, greed is good, and “it’s all about me”. If we fail to take advantage of this opportunity to examine these values and make necessary changes, thereby returning to the status-quo, we are doomed to revisit the Great Recession over and over again.
As a member of the UST MBA community where values, ethics, and doing the right thing are openly discussed and challenged, this book rings true throughout. It reinforces the moral imperative of our mission to “educate students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good.” If this had been the mission of our political and business leaders of the past few decades, we would not be in the place we are today.
So, wherever we find ourselves, be it Wall Street, Main Street, or Your (My) Street, let’s ring the clarion call to rediscover our values and make the necessary changes to avoid returning to the old status quo.